Dordt College News

Alumni wrap-up

May 24, 2013

Alumni wrap-up

Defender Days Debuts

Beginning next fall, Alumni Week and Parent’s Weekend will become Defender Days and will occur during the third week of October. Since many alumni are also parents of current Dordt College students, combining the two events will allow everyone to attend the events that have made Parents Weekend such a success, events like the Fall Music Festival, the fall theater production, and several athletic competitions.

The Distinguished Alumni Banquet, the Alumni Business Connections breakfast, the ice cream social, the 25th Class Reunion, and the Alumni Council meetings will now be held during this week. It will be a great opportunity for alumni to see more of what today’s students are involved in and at the same time meet up with friends from their college days.

Thanks to retiring alumni council members

Two Alumni Council members are completing six years of service this year. Sandy (Steenhoek) Vanden Bosch (’88) and Merl Alons (’59) have been wonderful contributors to the work of the Alumni Council. Sandy served as president of the council this last year, and Merl has given wise counsel from his extensive experience. Thanks, Sandy and Merl.

Opportunities for alumni involvement

This past year, the alumni office sponsored over 40 Meet the New President events throughout North America. Your support and attendance was encouraging to those of us on staff here at Dordt College. We hope these meetings have given you a glimpse into what lies ahead for Dordt College

The Concert Band and Chamber Orchestra received warm welcomes during their spring break travels. The support of alumni, parents, and friends was fabulous. They welcomed students into their homes, fed them, and encouraged them in their journey through South Dakota, Montana, Alberta, Washington, Idaho, and Colorado. A tour of this magnitude is only possible with the help of volunteers in local communities.

The sheer number of Defender fans that attended the men’s basketball national tournament games in Branson, Missouri, was a show stopper—which is saying something for Branson. On Thursday 450 fans attended, on Friday around 550, and on Saturday more than 600 fans cheered the team on. It was far-and-away the largest group of supporters of any team, except the host school. Commentators on the Internet broadcast made mention of this fact during the games, wondering if there was anyone left in northwest Iowa!

All these events give testimony to the wonderful supporting community that Dordt College experiences. On behalf of the college, let me offer a big THANKS for supporting us in so many ways.  


Alumni share land use award

Kimm Seed Potatoes was the recipient of the 2012 Environmental Stewardship Award presented at the National Potato Council’s (NPC) 2013 Annual Meeting in January. The award is part of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program, a partnership between NPC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to protect the environment and promote the safe and effective use of pesticides.
Kimm Seed Potates is run by Bill Kimm, his brother Scott, sons Jason (’98) and Mark (’00), and son-in-law Alan Venema (’00). Bill and Scott Kimm’s father started raising potatoes in 1948, and switched to raising seed potatoes a decade later.

Kimm Seed Potatoes was recognized for its commitment to producing crops in a sustainable manner through crop rotation, reduced tillage, proper irrigation, and balanced fertilizer and pest management programs that utilize composted manure and compost tea. The Kimms believe environmental awareness and stewardship has led to high quality seed potatoes grown in Montana.

“I wish my dad could see what has happened in the last 15 years,” said Bill Kimm. “One of the things he left with us before he died, he always said that if you take care of the land, it will take care of you. And that has been very true.”

Alumnus joins navy officer program

Brooks Knutson (’12) was accepted into the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program. The Magnolia, Minnesota, native, is relishing the opportunity.

Knutson studied mechanical engineering at Dordt and completed an internship at SpaceX in Los Angeles where he worked with his twin brother, Blair Knutson (’12).

In the tooling department at SpaceX, Brooks worked on the tools used to build rockets that travel to the International Space Station. He had an opportunity to begin another SpaceX internship, but he chose the Navy instead.

“This is a way for me to get into the energy field,” Knutson said. “I’m interested in thermodynamics.”

After 12 weeks of basic training, he’ll begin nuclear submarine training, which consists of three years on a nuclear missile sub, much of it spent deep beneath the ocean’s surface.

Two days before leaving for Officer Candidate School Knutson said he was both nervous and excited.

“I’m hoping I can be a good representative for Dordt, for my family, and for the pieces of my life that made me who I am,” he said.


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